Back to the Bayou for Mardi Gras 2

The West River Health Services Foundation (WRHSF) brought a piece of Louisiana to the Hettinger Armory as a fundraiser and thank you celebration for the community.

Frank Turner

Although attendance was down from the year before, WRHSF Fund Development Officer Ted Uecker said that the night was still a success.
“We estimated that this year that there were about 150 people attending,” said Uecker. “In general, I thought the people that did attend had a good time. I think they enjoyed the food, the photography, the decoration, the dancing, and checking out the silent and live auctions.”
At the event, local businesses each had their hand in adding something to the party.
Kennedy’s Fresh Foods brought southern New Orleans style cuisine to the event by serving gumbo, bourbon glazed chicken sandwiches, and raisin bread pudding.
The Pastime bartended and served themed drinks for the night and Prairie Rose Floral provided the center pieces.
Janel Johnson Photography also contributed to the Louisiana feel by hosting a Mardi Gras style photo booth set up for pictures while Hot Trax provided the music and dance throughout the night.
“We’ve got a lot of community people who help us set up, take down, and provide all the things that are providing the atmosphere…” said Uecker. “These are the people who really get that we need this healthcare system in our community.”
The live and silent auctions featured unique items like a trip to Medora, an Apple watch, buffalo meat, and even a cruise.
In addition to food, photos, and live auctions, the West River Health Services Foundation also took the opportunity to celebrate their own distinguished employees.
“I think the highlight of the night was when Dr. Joyce and Dr. Ketterling received their retirement awards and Dr. Joyce actually spoke. I really thought that was a couple of community moments where people really appreciate what these doctors have done.”
The hospital foundation presented Dr. Joyce and Dr. Ketterling plaques to recognize their retirement and their long service to the hospital and the rural community. Although Dr. Ketterling was unable to attend the event, she wrote a letter to the community highlighting her passion for the community and the hospital.
Dr. Hoerauf was also acknowledged for winning the National Rural Practitioner of the Year Award.
“What I got out of their speeches is that they loved working with these rural communities and with their patients,” he said. “I think they also brought up the teams of nurses and doctors working together and believing in each other to bring top-notch healthcare to the community.”
The total proceeds from the event have yet to be calculated, however, Uecker guessed that it will be close to $20,000 raised.
“All the net funds go to the Partners in Health Club which gives all funds, everything they raise, to needed equipment at Western Horizons or West River Health Services, whether it’s a satellite clinic, the hospital, the care centers, or whatever as long as it relates to Western Horizons or West River Health Services,” he said.
Overall, Uecker said that the whole point of the night wasn’t just to raise funds but also to provide the community a good time.
“Our events are partially morale building, partially fundraising, and partially celebrating positive contributions that West River makes to the community,” he said. “We are glad people can enjoy the dancing, the food, and the comradery.”

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